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Prevalence of obesity and hypertension among teenage girls in an emerging metropolitan city of Central Rajasthan

Akshita Bhat, Meenakshi Sharma.


Background: The problem of overweight, obesity, and hypertension is not only limited to adults but also extended to children and adolescents. The increasing prevalence of obesity and hypertension in girls reaching reproductive capacity is particularly disturbing, because untreated obesity contributes to its perpetuation in their offspring through maternal fetal transmission.

Aims and Objectives: The aims of the study were as follows: (1) To evaluate the prevalence of overweight, pre-hypertension, and hypertension among teenage girls of Jaipur city and (2) to compare these observations in affluent and non-affluent category girls.

Materials and Methods: Design: A school-based, cross-sectional, observational study was carried out from January to June 2011 involving 500 teenage girl students of age 13–17 years. One government and one public school were selected randomly in Jaipur. From each selected school, 250 teenage girls of 13–17 years of age group were examined and asked to fill out a pro forma. Category A: Teenage girls of private school belonging to affluent class; Category B: Teenage girls from government school and belonged to non-affluent class. Each girl height and weight was recorded to calculate body mass index. Blood pressure of each girl was recorded. The collected data were analyzed using SPSS version 11.5 and Chi-square test.

Results: The prevalence of overweight among category A girls was 17.6% and in category B was 5.2% of girls (P = 0.0001). About 5.2% of girls were pre-hypertensive and 3.6% were hypertensive in category A while 5.6% were pre-hypertensive and 2.0% were hypertensive in category B (P = 0.416 and 1.00 for hypertension and pre-hypertension, respectively).

Conclusion: The prevalence of overweight and hypertension was higher among affluent teenage girls. The prevalence of pre-hypertension was comparable between two categories. The underlying factors for pre-hypertension were different in two categories.

Key words: Teenage Girls; Obesity; Pre-hypertension; Hypertension

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